Tips For Obtaining the Best Headshot or Portrait


I am very excited about our upcoming photo shoot, and I am genuinely honored that you have chosen me as your photographer.  I believe that I don't just take your portrait, but that together we make your portrait.  A good portrait or headshot is a team effort involving the photographer, the subject and the makeup artist, and it is important that we achieve the best results possible during your session, which will last from 1 -3 hours, including make-up.

Here are some guidelines that I hope will help in making this a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved.

General Advice:

Wear solid, vibrant, and middle tone colors.

The clothing should be simple; no stripes or patterns, but textures are fine.

If you have blue eyes a blue shirt will bring out the color of your eyes, green eyes a green shirt, etc.

The night before your shoot, be sure to get a good night’s sleep. Eat and hydrate well just prior to your portrait session so you have energy and good spirits. You’ll want to feel your best so you can look your best.

Hands make for a very nice component of a headshot or portrait and are almost always present in some fashion.  Make sure your nails are trimmed and clean.  A manicure is always a good idea.  It is exceedingly difficult and cost-prohibitive to correct nails that are not trim and clean.

If you desire a haircut or trim make sure you do this 1 - 2 weeks prior to your appointment to give your hair time to grow out a bit and for you to feel comfortable with your new cut.  The last thing you want to be doing is fretting over your hair.

For women a makeup artist is generally desired, but not required.  I generally leave this choice up to the particular woman.  However, my makeup artists are experienced in photographic makeup and remain available for touch ups during the shoot if necessary.  Make-up usually takes 30 - 40 minutes.  It's fun, and a really a great way to relax into the studio setting before we begin.

Here are a couple of short, very entertaining videos I would like for you to watch prior to your appointment.  They are by renowned headshot photographer Peter Hurley, and they illustrate two fundamental posing techniques that most people (even some professional models) are unaware of.

It's All About The Jaw

It's All About The Squinch


For corporate/professional shots, bring a few dress shirts (white, light blue, yellow etc.) and a few ties, all freshly pressed.

Shave right before your appointment, unless you are going for the scruffy look, which is perfectly acceptable. Bring a razor and shaving cream in case you decide to go for the clean shaven look during the shoot.

If you color your hair, make sure roots are not visible. This is exceedingly difficult and cost-prohibitive to correct.

Earrings and uni-brows are not recommended.  But if you do wear earrings, simple studs or plugs are recommended.

A make-up artist is usually not recommended, although we may have to deal with a bit of shine here and there.


For corporate/professional shots, bring solid color middle tone or dark pantsuit/skirt and a few long sleeve shirts (light color), all freshly pressed.  I have a steamer for some quick pressing if necessary.

If you color your hair, make sure roots are not visible. This is exceedingly difficult and cost-prohibitive to correct.

Remove any unwanted facial hair.  Although I can easily deal with a few strays in post-processing.

If you wear earrings, simple studs are recommended.

Make-up artist is recommended.  You may provide your own makeup, but must assume all responsibility for the quality of the make-up and any touch ups that might be necessary.

Fingernails should be Clear Coat or Thin French Tipped.  A manicure prior to your appointment is always a good idea, but make sure you nails are trimmed and clean at a minimum.  There will be a few shots where your hands are prominent.


Solid vibrant, middle tone/true colors recommended. No patterns or logos.

Short or long sleeve Tee-shirts, Polo shirts, or Denim shirts with a Tee under.

Fees and Logistics

See my Rate Sheet for further details on types of sessions available.

My lighting equipment is portable so I am willing to travel within the Albuquerque metropolitan area.  Any shoot outside this area is subject to additional fees depending on the location.  

I can do outdoor shoots at my location, but any other outdoor location is subject to additional fees as it will most likely involve my assistant.  These types of shoots are generally very expensive.

I like to schedule shoots on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays.

Please feel free to email or contact me by phone if you have any questions or concerns, or wish to schedule a portrait sessions.


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